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Dale Ahlquist to lecture on GK Chesterton

By Ann Marie Foley - 24 March, 2014

Chesterton Dale Ahlquist, President of the American Chesterton SocietyGK Chesterton’s assertion that the family precedes the state both in history and in authority is to be examined in this year’s GK Chesterton Society of Ireland lecture in April.

The Irish Society is hosting Dale Ahlquist, President of the American Chesterton Society, who told CatholicIreland.net, “The title Defender of the Family is a play on Defender of the Faith, which is what Pope Pius XI called Chesterton upon sending condolences at his death – but the British press would not print it because the title Defender of the Faith belongs to the King alone.”

Speaking in advance of the lecture, Dale Ahlquist said, “Chesterton says that the family precedes the state both in history and in authority. It is the only kingdom, he says, that creates and loves its own citizens. It is the basic unit of society, and if the family falls apart, the whole society will fall apart.”

The organisers describe Dale Ahlquist as “undoubtedly the world’s greatest populariser of Chesterton’s work.”

He is the host of the Chesterton-themed television show The Apostle of Common Sense, and the author of several books on GKC’s thought and work, including Common Sense 101, The Complete Thinker, and The Gift of Wonder.

Maolsheachlann Ó Ceallaigh, co-founder of the Irish Society, said that Dale Ahlquist ‘s lecture is part of a lecture tour he is giving in Britain and Ireland. 

Speaking about the lecture, he told CatholicIreland.net, “Chesterton defended the family from many different threats, as he perceived them, divorce, an economic system that compels both parents to work long hours, compulsory schooling, something Chesterton opposed, and the threat of eugenics which was a very fashionable and ‘progressive’ school of thought at his time.”

Maolsheachlann Ó Ceallaigh explained that Chesterton defended the family as the “ultimate bastion against the power of the state and big business”, and the family home was the place where true diversity is encountered.

303408_10150615665637301_1380586209_nThe GK Chesterton Society of Ireland was founded by Maolsheachlann Ó Ceallaigh and philosophy lecturer Angelo Bottone in 2010.

The philosopher Mark Dooley gave a well-attended talk on The Democratic Faith in May 2012.

“We hope this lecture (in April) will be a big boost to our hitherto small society as there has been a huge amount of interest in it and we now know of many more people in this country who are interested in Chesterton. There is an enormous interest out there,” Maolsheachlann Ó Ceallaigh said.

The Society’s activities so far have included discussions of Chesterton’s work, usually a selection or a series of selections from his work, or a new biography, or the recent BBC television series based on his Father Brown books.

Anyone can join by emailing [email protected] The lecture takes place at 8pm on 2 April in the Mont Clare Hotel, Dublin 2.

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